Nepal gave conditional approval on Tuesday for the emergency use of the Russian Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine, an official of the drug regulator said, as the country recorded the highest daily increase of infections in four months.
Nepal began is vaccination campaign in January with AstraZeneca vaccines provided by India but suspended it last month following lack of supply.
“Conditional permission has been granted for emergency use authorization of Russia’s Sputnik V in Nepal,” said Santosh K.C, a senior official in the Department of Drug Administration.
Argentina was one of the first globally to use Sputnik V vaccine on scale to inoculate its population and has faced delays getting other vaccines.
Russian scientist Denis Logunov, a lead developer of the Sputnik V vaccine, said that the vaccine had proven itself 97.6% effective against COVID-19 in a real-world assessment, based on data from 3.8 million people.
That was higher than the 91.6% rate outlined in results from a large-scale trial of Sputnik V published in The Lancet medical journal earlier this year.
“This new data confirms that Sputnik V demonstrates one of the best protection rates against coronavirus among all vaccines,” said Kirill Dmitriev, head of the RDIF sovereign wealth fund which is backing the vaccine.
The incidence of infection was calculated from the 35th day from the first injection, the statement said, showing an incidence rate of 0.027%.
The incidence of infection among unvaccinated adults during a considerable period following the launch of mass vaccination in Russia was 1.1%, it said, without specifying the date range used.